Guest Author - Susan Taylor
Each year I present my orchid resolutions to help you define some of your own so that your orchid growing will be better in 2009 than in 2008. Every one of us has special growing problems due to our own conditions so my problems probably are not the same as yours.
Staking and Presentation
This year I am going to work on keeping up with the presentation of my flowers on the plants. Up to now I've pretty much let the plants grow as they will and then put in stakes to hold the flowers. This year I'm going to start working with the plants themselves and the inflorescences in particular as soon as they appear so that the plant as well as the flowers looks better.
I'm going to work to do a better job at keeping my plants cleaned up. I need to keep the leaves cleaned from mineral buildup and dust as well as making sure that the old sheaths are removed from plants and old pseudobulbs removed when they turn brown. This will work in with the "Staking" resolution above as well as the one to spend an hour a day enjoying and working with my plants.
I have finally made headway in reducing (but not eliminating) scale in my greenhouse with the use of Bayer's systemic. This year I will institute a monthly schedule of spraying all my plants to eliminate the problem. I will also work at spraying with soap and water to eliminate live bugs that the Bayer's will not kill such as ants that do not directly suck on the plants.
Cooler in Summer
I am still having big problems with keeping down the temperature in the greenhouse since it faces west and gets full sun during our hot summer months. This has caused problems with some plants such as Phals which really don't like 100 degree temperatures. With careful use of misting, I can keep the temperatures down to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but then have problems with mineral buildup on the plants. I will change out my mineral filter quarterly rather than every six months to see if this will help the mineral problem and increase the use of the mister as well as use rainwater when available for misting.
Spend one hour per day
Orchids are my hobby and I have gotten away from enjoying them like I used to. I will spend some time each day just enjoying and talking to them. This is supposed to be fun, not something that is work or increases stress.